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Banquo’s Son by Tania Kelly Roxborogh

Banquo’s Son by T.K. Roxborogh. Pub. Penguin, 2009.

Picking up on Banquo’s last words to his son from that Scottish play “O, treachery! Fly, good Fleance, fly fly fly. Thou may’st revenge”. Tania Roxborogh has written an historical fantasy novel that holds true to Shakespeare’s version of history. On top of that it is a love story and a bloody good yarn.

Fleance has been brought up by Magness and Miri in England out of sight of enemies in Scotland. They meet a family with a lovely daughter Rosie and both Rosie and Fleance are smitten with each other. Fleance however has to revenge his father’s death and must away to Scotland. Rosie is not happy with this and pursues him into Scotland. Will they meet?

Meanwhile Fleance through fate and fortune manages to meet the nephew of the current king of Scotland and the lauded MacDuff who done the loathed MacBeth to death. Duncan, the king’s nephew and Fleance together seek the truth of Banquo’s death.

But as always there is treachery afoot, and romance  to appease, plus the  question this novel addresses –  “how do you choose between love and honour?” and is it worth it?

Tania Roxborogh paints a cold and misty picture of 11th century Scotland but also pays tribute to the hospitality and openness of the Scots. Unfortunately the bloodthirstiness and inhumanity of those seeking power pervades the atmosphere, as it did in Shakespeare’s play. Roxborogh has been faithful to the play; the witches, the prophecies, the dreams and the ghosts are all part of this story.

A very readible novel for High School students. I enjoyed it and so will you. And what’s more the sequel Blood Lines is due out later this year.